Feng Shui Facts

Feng Shui cannot fix all problems. In Chinese Metaphysics there are three factors that affect your luck. Heaven, earth and man. Feng Shui is the earth part of your luck because we are affected by our environment. The heaven part of our luck is destiny and depends on when we were born. This part is covered by astrology.

Four Pillars of Destiny

The introduction to Four Pillars of Destiny given here is intended to give the interested reader a glimpse of what this art is about.

What is it?
Four Pillars of Destiny is one of the branches of Chinese Astrology. Using this technique, one is able to draw up a blue print or map of a person's life and advise them on what action to take during various phases of their life. In order to draw up a four pillar chart, the year, month, day and time of birth must be known as well as the place of birth. A complete birth chart will have four "pillars" (consisting of four stems and four branches).

What can Four Pillars of Destiny tell?
The kind of relationship the person has with their parents, superiors, subordinates, spouse, friends and siblings. What kind of career they will most likely be successful in. Whether it is a favourable time or not to start that new business or project. Wealth prospects and character. When to grasp opportunities and when to reflect and learn a new skill.

Can we change our destiny?
I have already referred to four pillars as a map or blueprint. The map or blueprint itself cannot be changed. It is what we were born with. However, if we understand our chart and take appropriate action, then we will be doing the right thing at the right time. When we do this we are better able to overcome obstacles during challenging times and better able to grasp opportunity during favourable times.

Good luck does not realise its full potential all by itself. It takes action at the right time. If you don't go out to meet opportunity when it arrives how will it know you welcome it?

The 10 Heavenly Stems
Wood Yang Jia
Wood Yin Yi
Fire Yang Bing
Fire Yin Ding
Earth Yang Wu
Earth Yin Ji
Metal Yang Geng
Metal Yin Xin
Water (Year 2002) Yang Ren
Water (Year 2003) Yin Gui

The Twelve Earthly Branches
Many people are familiar with the twelve Chinese Animals. These are the twelve branches. A branch can contain more than one element/phase.
Yin Water
Yin Earth
Yin Water
Yin Metal
Yang Wood
Yang Fire
Yang Earth
Yin Wood
Yang Earth
Yin Wood
Yin Water
Yang Fire
Yang Earth
Yang Metal
Horse (Year 2002)
Yin Fire
Yin Earth
Sheep (Year 2003)
Yin Earth
Yin Fire
Yin Wood
Yang Metal
Yang Water
Yang Earth
Yin Metal
Yang Earth
Yin Metal
Yin Fire
Yang Water
Yang Wood

Every year brings new elemental influences e.g. year 2002 has a Yang Water Heavenly Stem sitting on the Horse Branch. Within the horse branch there is not only Yin Fire, but Yin Earth too.

The chinese SOLAR calendar is used to calculate a four pillar chart. We also need to know the longitude of the birthplace in order to adjust the time of birth to true local time. If daylight savings time was in effect in certain parts of the world, this must also be taken into account. In South Africa, daylight savings time is not observed. The person whose chart is being analysed is called the daymaster (DM).

Year Pillar: Family background and society.

Month Pillar: Early childhood and relationship with parents.

Day Pillar: The daymaster (DM) and relationship with spouse/partner.

Hour Pillar: Career, relationship with children and old age.

Each element/phase in a chart represents a specific person or opportunity of action in the DM's life. These "energies" are commonly known as "gods" or "deities" for lack of a better word. In fact, because they are abstract and not physical beings you can call them anything as long as you understand their meaning, function and character. There are a total of ten stems and therefore there are a total of ten gods/deities. Within each earthly branch there are one or more "hidden stems" and these also become gods/deities.

These gods or deities are sometimes able to combine or clash with other deities in a chart or with luck pillars and it is this kind of interaction that allows an astrologer to tell the story of a person's life. Each chart is as unique as the person.

The element/phase that produces the day master
The same element/phase as the day master
The element/phase that controls the day master. Also husband for a female.
The element/phase that the day master controls. Also wife for a male.
The element/phase that the day master produces

From a chart, you are able to plot 10 year (big) luck pillars which will indicate what influences are prevalent in the DM's life and advise the correct action appropriate for that luck period. Luck pillars can further be broken down into five year luck periods and even annual luck periods.

Chinese astrology can also be used to select the most suitable date for the action that you may want to take, e.g. the best date for opening a business, changing jobs, moving house, getting married etc. Compatibility of business partners and prospective marriage partners can also be analysed.

Four Pillars of Destiny analysis can show which organs of the body are strong or vulnerable, but a medical diagnosis should never be made by an astrologer unless they are also a licensed medical doctor or accredited traditional chinese medical practitioner.

The five elements and their interaction in the stems, branches and with the DM must be analysed. The polarity (Yin or Yang) of the element must also be considered. The chart type must be identified.

According to the month (season) that someone is born a DM must usually be defined as strong or weak. This has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of someone's character. In certain months (seasons) some elements/phases will be strong and others weak. Usually what is weak in a chart is most desirable and what is strong is least desirable. However, each chart must be treated on its own merit. When we talk about seasons we are not talking about local climate. In chinese metaphysics whether it is feng shui, traditional chinese medicine or four pillars of destiny, when we talk about seasons and five elements we are talking about universal energy, tangible and intangible. e.g. When it is said that someone is born in the summer season, it means they were born in a month when the universal energy of fire and earth was strong regardless of where they were born in the world. The elements/phases go through twelve stages of life and it is important to know at what stage the various elements are when a day master is born because this has an impact on the life of the day master.

Some special charts are so unique that one cannot use conventional rules for them and they must be analysed differently. Due to all the variables, computer software cannot be developed to do comprehensive interpretations. This is why Four Pillars of Destiny is considered an art.

Example of a Four Pillar Chart
Male born in Cape Town, South Africa on 13 May 1952 at 16h48. After adjustment to true local time, the birth time becomes 15h59.

Heavenly Stem
Yang Water Yin Earth Yin Wood Yang Water
Earthly Branch
Monkey Goat Snake Dragon
Hidden Stem (god)
yang metal yin earth yang fire yang earth
Hidden Stem (god)
yang water yin fire yang earth yin wood
Hidden Stem (god)
yang earth yin wood yang metal yin water

The heavenly stem in the day pillar is the day master (DM). The day master is born in the month of the snake when fire and earth are strong. There is one yin fire and one yang fire to support the earth day master. He has earth elements/phases in all four of the earthly branches. There are two metals, four water and three wood to drain and control the DM. Suffice to say that when we take the life stages of the elements in this chart into account, earth and fire still come out the strongest. Therefore we can say that this is a Strong Yin Earth Day Master. The summer (fire) season is hot and dry and this chart needs moisture. The yang water in the stems as well as the water roots in the branches are available and this becomes the most favourable element for the day master. During years and luck pillars when water appears the day master will be able to achieve well and luck will be on his side. Metal is favourable. He already has too much earth in his chart so in years and luck pillars when earth appears, he should not take unnecessary risks because luck will not be on his side. Wood and fire are unfavourable.

This day master is diligent, but a little unorganised. He is trustworthy and broadminded. He is stubborn and should work on having empathy for others. He will be tempted to work in a competitive environment, but this would be a mistake. He should avoid partnerships in business - it will not have a good ending. He will be most successful in a career where he can make use of his communication skills. A monetary/financial environment is also good for him. Wealth is his friend, but he has competitors who want to compete with him for it. He is capable of finding a good woman and he treats her as an equal. An independent woman who does not suffocate him with doting support would be a good wife for him. He should try not to be so stubborn and show more sympathy, then his relationship will be good. He is capable of doing well in his career and his relationship with his subordinates and children are very good. His parents showed him discipline and gave him good support, but the relationship is not a close one. He comes from a fairly good family background and he interacts well with society at large.

His early life is filled with challenges and he feels overly supported - this leads to feeling suffocated. He also has friends and rivals who compete fiercely with him and this causes stress. In his late teens until his late twenties life is pretty mundane, but good to him - there are not many ups and downs. Between late twenties and late thirties he has more challenges to face but they are not insurmountable. His real good luck comes later in life, in his late forties and this good fortune continues into old age. His golden years are good, peaceful and he will have few regrets.

This is an overall view of a chart - a lot more detail can be seen when annual luck pillars are taken into account. The co-operation of the client with the astrologer is very important. More than 50% of a doctor's diagnosis is based on the medical history of a patient. The more history the doctor has, the more accurate will be the diagnosis. The same can be said of Four Pillars of Destiny. The more history the astrologer has to match with the client's chart , the more accurate will be the forecasts they make of the future.

Four Pillars of Destiny is a fascinating art and a useful tool to help people in a positive way. The ethics of the astrologer must not be questionable.

Plot your Four Pillars of Destiny